The Power in the Song

DSC_0288In one of my earliest memories, mom lifts me out of an amp case. “Honey, you’re getting way too big for that.” I am probably a year and a half old.

I’m driven by music; I grew up vibrating in four-four time. I never believed in love, probably because I always imagined I’d fuck my life up by getting together with a musician. Instead I lucked into this academic who isn’t a big fan of concerts and guitars, who anchors me instead with the kind of harmony that doesn’t need sound.

He understands how I thrive on the other, though.

Last year on our anniversary, Scott stayed home with the kids so I could drive to Birmingham and see The Head and the Heart.… Read the rest


ElI leaned out on the platform, straining my ears for the train’s first distant rumble. “It’ll come, Jessie,” Scott reassured me. It was July in Chicago. We were waiting for the L. And his enthusiasm was as high as my own.

When I was a kid, I hated trains exactly when my dad and sister were enjoying a Lionel phase. By the time I reversed my position, they were through. But once miniature engines claimed my interest, they never let go. Marrying an addict only fueled my interest. We honeymooned by train. We look for historic railway projects where the real hobbyists practice their art.… Read the rest

Blueberry Haven

20140622_104612Fat raindrops smacked the windshield, and Scott turned on the wipers.  Ahead, a church billboard warned us that the only true wisdom came from God. “We timed that perfectly.”

“And it was the most fun we’ve had as a family in ages.” I peeled my ball cap back and wiped the sweat off my face.

Caroline stopped playing Subway Surfers long enough to disagree. “Ugh. No it wasn’t. We nearly got hit by lightning.” Sam was entrenched in Frozen, or he would have seconded her opinion.

Scott and I exchanged a look. Pick your battles. We had measured that storm impeccably, even leaving ourselves time to pay for our blueberries and transfer them from the U-Pick buckets into gallon bags before the sky opened.… Read the rest

You Might Be a Geek If

You might be a geek if


These are the signs of geekdom in my house. What signs do you see on a regular basis?

What kind of geek are you?

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I Saw Everything

“Have fun!” I waved Scott out the back door, false smile plastered on my face. Dear God, I thought he’d never leave. And yet, he’s ten minutes early. “Kids, good news! You’re having a play date with Kristopher.”


“Now.” Linda’s van honked from my driveway. I herded my children out front. “Hurry up.”

They couldn’t see my hands shaking as I shooed Sam to sit beside Kristopher. They couldn’t feel my heart racing as I kissed them goodbye. They had no idea what I was about to do. “Don’t forget Sam’s six o’clock meds.”

Linda held up the pill bottle.… Read the rest

2002 A San Francisco Odyssey

“Jessie, where the fuck are we?”

“I’ve been lost since the Presidio.” Broken glass littered the sidewalk, and Scott had just stepped on a spent shotgun shell, its ruffled blast end an unmistakable sign of what had happened to the mason jars around our feet.


Kelly at the Presidio

Scott’s friend Kelly, who had joined us willingly enough after lunch, said “The Presidio. That was awhile ago.”

“How long have we been walking?”

Scott checked his watch. “Four, five hours, give or take.”

“I’m starved.”

Kelly said, “That’s pretty low on the old priority list right now.”

He had a point.… Read the rest

A Valentine to My True Love

Scott Val DayIn 2003, you got me candy for Valentine’s Day. We barely knew I was pregnant. Well, we barely “knew knew”. You’d been listening to me bitch that I couldn’t possibly be pregnant for over a month, but because you are kind, you took me at my word instead of my opposite. So things had only been formal for a week or two.

The chocolate rose you gave me sat on my desk untouched. I wanted to eat it. My God, I’d married a man who thought I deserved holiday treats. We’d been dating just shy of four years, we’d been married sixteen months, and I was still gobsmacked by the sight of your stubbly cheeks every morning.… Read the rest


Dear Scott,

Thirteen years ago, I knew by the end of our first date that I would marry you. That certainty rendered me speechless. At the beginning of the evening,

I did not believe in true love

I did not believe in love at first sight

I did not believe in having children

and I did not believe in trusting people you barely knew.

And four hours later, I not only believed all of those things, I embraced them.

I had my standards set so high that I had never actually dated. At all. Because dating was a great way to get hurt.… Read the rest

Happy Anniversary Redux

I don’t repost a lot here on Jester Queen. In fact, this will be a first time ever. In honor of my eleventh anniversary tomorrow, here is what I wrote about the tenth anniversary last year.


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Blood and Violence

Poor Scott.  He’s my sounding board for all my story ideas. He has to be prepared at the drop of a hat to answer questions about presidential elections, random animal behaviors, and everything else that pops into my head. I can Google this shit. But I don’t. At least, not until after I ask him.

Because here’s the thing about Scott. He is a repository of facts. If he hadn’t gone into history, he’d have made a damned fine librarian, because he is also an expert in knowing what questions to ask.

And usually, when I ask him these things, I’m in a spurt of idea generation.… Read the rest